(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will attempt to stave off elimination
again on Saturday when they visit the Boston Bruins for Game 5 of the Eastern
The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in this best-of-seven series, but failed
to complete the sweep on Thursday, as New York battled its way to a season-
saving overtime victory. Chris Kreider's goal at the 7:03 mark of OT lifted
the sixth-seeded Rangers to a 4-3 win and cut the deficit in the series to
Still, the Rangers need to pull off an improbable comeback to make it back to
the East finals, where New York lost in six games to the New Jersey Devils
Only three teams have come back from an 0-3 hole in the history of the NHL
playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942, the New York Islanders in 1975 and
the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. However, the Flyers' comeback three years ago
was against the Bruins.
Kreider's speed and Rick Nash's playmaking ability led to the decisive goal in
the extra session of Game 4. Nash skated into the Bruins' zone on the right
wing, and pulled up at the bottom of the circle before dishing ahead to a
streaking Kreider for a redirection under the crossbar to end the contest.
"I think the mentality prior to the game and during the game was just, there's
nothing to lose," said Kreider, a two-time national champion with Boston
College. "I was lucky enough to play with Rick tonight. I just tried to move
pucks and go hard to the net. He was able to find my tape, and I just tried to
put it on net."
Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Brian Boyle also tallied for the Rangers, who
avoided being swept for the first time since 2006 when they lost to New Jersey
in the opening round.
Henrik Lundqvist came up with 37 saves to help New York force this evening's
Game 5 in Boston.
"We did show some character. It was tough though, probably the ugliest goal I
have ever seen turned it around for us, and that's hockey," the Swedish
backstop said. "A save or a goal or one shift can change everything. We kind
of lowered our shoulders a little bit and started playing our game."
Lundqvist improved to 5-0 in the Rangers' last five home playoff games in
which his club faced elimination
However, New York needs to win just its second road game of the playoffs to
force a Game 6 in the Big Apple on Monday. The Rangers are just 1-5 as the
away team in this postseason, but the lone win came in Game 7 of the first
round against Washington.
Nathan Horton, Torey Krug and Tyler Seguin found the back of the net for the
fourth-seeded Bruins, who failed in their first attempt at reaching the
conference finals for the second time in the last three seasons. Tuukka Rask
made 28 saves in a poor performance between the pipes.
"We give them two gift goals, eventually it's going to hurt. We competed hard
but didn't execute as well as we know we can," said Bruins head coach Claude
Julien. "There's no panic here..had we been outworked and not been there at
all, I would be talking differently here."
After scoring twice to take a 2-0 lead in the second period Game 4, Rask gave
the Rangers their first goal of the game. Hagelin slid a soft backhand towards
the Boston net and the muted shot rolled past an over-committed Rask, who
didn't let himself off the hook after the game.
"Just a tough mistake. Looks pretty bad on TV I bet," said the Finnish
goaltender, who also whiffed at the puck while trying to corral it with his
stick. "I just tried to whack it away and it was just awful. You have a second
to decide whether you scramble or put the paddle down."
The tying goal wasn't much better for Rask, as a bit of indecision in playing
the puck led to the goaltender being out of position on Stepan's goal, which
evened the score at 2-2 just 1:15 into the third period. Boston defenseman
Zdeno Chara also deserves blame for allowing Stepan to strip him of the puck
behind the net before completing the wraparound score.
New York played without centerman Brad Richards, who was listed as a healthy
scratch and replaced in the lineup by defenseman Roman Hamrlik. He is expected
to be out of the lineup again on Saturday.
Richards, a former Conn Smythe winner, has one goal in 10 postseason games
this season after signing a nine-year, $58 million deal with New York prior to
the 2011-12 campaign.
The Bruins have played every game of this series without defensemen Andrew
Ference, Wade Redden and Dennis Seidenberg, all of whom are battling injuries.
Of the three, Seidenberg is expected to have the best chance of playing in
Boston is 4-2 as the host in the 2013 playoffs and was 16-5-3 at TD Garden
during the regular season.
The Sports Network